When they started the season just 3-5, there were obvious concerns about Saint Mary’s. This team returned exciting young talent from last season’s success and had high expectations yet again, but Randy Bennett’s squad was stale against Weber State and dropped four more challenging games in quick succession. It’s a nonconference slate that included wins over New Mexico and Colorado State, but the Gaels got exactly what they wanted this weekend.
Not only are the Gaels now 9-0 in WCC play, but they got their fourth Quad 1 win of the season in a shocking 64-62 win at Gonzaga. The Gaels have now won on the road against both those Bulldogs and San Francisco, two very useful Quad 1 wins to help salvage their rough start to the season. That unbeaten start to conference play also includes a sweep over a solid Santa Clara team.
With their NET floating in the high 20’s, Saint Mary’s has put themselves back in ideal position after that tough beginning to the season. There’s a pair of Quad 3 losses on the resume, but few teams can claim road wins against both Gonzaga and Colorado State. Avoiding a misstep is the goal for the Gaels, who only have three more road games in league play and all against bottom feeders, with a rematch with Gonzaga waiting in early March.
How do you think these ten teams will fare in the weeks ahead? March Madness is still weeks away but we’ll see how teams continue to fluctuate as potential winners in the eyes of the Selection Committee. What will change next week?